Feeling sniffily? Brew up a pot of green tea to fight off winter sickness

green tea

Good news for green tea lovers – research shows the flavonoids in your favourite brew can significantly reduce your risk of catching a cold.

Flavonoids are found in green tea, as well as lots of fruits and veggies including apples, blueberries and onions, and in cocoa and red wine. They are through to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping to boost your immunity.

By consuming more foods rich in flavonoids, new research from the University of Auckland suggests you can reduce your likelihood of catching the common cold by up to 33%.

“These findings show that if you’re generally healthy, eating flavonoids – found in lots of fruits and vegetables – can help stave off the bugs over winter,” says researcher Andrea Braakhuis.

“We’d all love to make it through winter without one of these nasty colds. They’re a leading cause of visits to a doctor, yet antibiotics don’t help, so it’s worth giving flavonoids a go as part of a healthy diet.”

While at this stage it’s too soon for experts to recommend whether foods or supplements are a better source of flavonoids, and what the ideal dose is, Ms Braakhuis suggests the best way to fight off winter sickness is to fill up on green tea, fruit and veggies.

“Eating five serves of veggies and two serves of fruit each day in a variety of colours will put you well on the path to getting enough flavonoids. Make sure your dinner plate is at least half full of vegetables, sip green tea over winter, and enjoy the occasional red wine.”

This research was presented at the Dietitians Association of Australia National Conference in Perth.

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